Caltrain bicycle access

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Caltrain bikes.jpg



Bicycles can be carried onboard Caltrain with no extra charge. It is a very popular option for some riders because they can go from the station to their homes and offices quickly without having to drive, walk, or take transit.

Bikes are permitted only on the designated bike cars. On every trip, two bike cars are available (one at the north end of the train, facing San Francisco, and the other located in the middle of the train). The bike cars can be identified with the yellow decal located near the door.

A single bike car has a capacity of 40 bikes (on silver "Gallery" trains with a single center door) or 24 bikes (on red/light grey "Bombardier" trains with two doors). If the space is full, bicyclists will have to wait for the next train.

Because bike space is often full on peak hour trains at some popular stations, the bicyclists have developed ways to communicate about the bike space availability using Twitter: Caltrain bike car updates to your mobile device

Train arrangement

Older Gallery trainsets:

Caltrainloco.gif Caltraincoach.gif Caltraincab.gif Caltraincoach.gif Caltrainada.gif Caltraincab.gif
Locomotive Non-bike car Bike car luggage car ADA car Bike car/cab car
< to San Jose to San Francisco >

Bombardier trainsets:

Caltrainloco.gif Calbb.png Calmet.png Calbbcab.png Calbb.png Calbb.png Calbbcab.png
Locomotive Non-bike car Bike car Bike car Non-bike car ADA car Bike car/cab car
< to San Jose to San Francisco >
  1. Locomotive - Always faces southbound toward San Jose
  2. Non-bike car - Any car that's not a luggage car, ADA car, or bike car is a non-bike car.
  3. Bike car - Always placed the second from the locomotive.
  4. luggage car - At least one car is available in the center of all trains. Luggage car has a rack on the southside of the train to store luggage, strollers, and folding bicycles.
  5. ADA car - This car is equipped with onboard wheelchair lifts for access by disabled riders. A large accessible restroom is always available next to the wheelchair area.
  6. Bike car/cab car - every train has a bike car (40 bikes) facing San Francisco. On some trains, the bike car facing SF is also the ADA car.

Rules & Etiquette

  • Bikes must be strapped to the bike racks with the provided bungee cords, with no more than 4 bikes per rack. Some conductors will bend this a bit because the rule is for safety and often 5 can be stored without blocking the isles.
  • Place a tag on your bike identifying the stations you travel between. Caltrain provides vinyl bike tags which can be picked up stations with staffed information counters and often from conductors on board the train. However you can also make your own tags using an old plastic badge holder: Caltrain bike tags
  • Stack bikes in the order they will be removed. When you secure your bike, check the tags of other bikes, placing your bike only in front of other which will be getting off after you.
  • Wait on the platform by the area that closest to the bike car. That area is located north of the ADA boarding area marked by a blue square on the platform. If you wait further south on the platform and if the train is not equipped with the second bike car, you will have to walk your bike north to the bike car.
  • Let non-bicyclists board and exit the train first.
  • If you are not a bicyclist, avoid boarding and exiting the bike car to reduce crowding there.
  • Do not lock your bike. Use of bike locks is prohibited on board Caltrain.

Bike stations

At present, only Warm Planet Bikes at 4th & King Station provide staffed valet bike parking.

The following stations provide shared bike storage. Each require its own registration and payment: